Cui, César Antonovich

Cui, César Antonovich tsāzär´ äntô´nôvĭch küē´ [key], 1835–1918, Russian composer and critic, a military engineer by profession. As a music critic in St. Petersburg and Paris, he championed the group of nationalist Russian composers known as The Five, consisting of Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev, Mussorgsky, Borodin, and himself. Of these, he was the least distinctive composer. He was largely self-taught, and his best works are songs and short salon pieces, which avoid the technical deficiencies of his operas and orchestral music.

See V. I. Seroff, The Mighty Five (1948); M. O. Zetlin, The Five (tr. 1959).

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